Posted: March 30th, 2022

The Passage of Proposition 8 in California

Efficacy for Proposition 8


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There are numerous points of efficacy in the article for this assignment about how the passage of Proposition 8 in California negatively impacted the lives of those who were not in favor of its passage — and of those who are a part of, or sympathetic towards, the LGBTI community. The author incorporated a copious amount of quotations and differing points-of-view for what appeared like a painful experience for many of those in the aforementioned community. Additionally, the author was able to transcend the mere passing of this piece of legislation to emphasize the human repercussions that it produced. Ultimately, this article was effective because it personalized the experiences of many in this community, and emphasized the human consequences of Proposition 8’s passage.


Nonetheless, one of the most cogent points of this article was its explanation of Proposition 8 and the various issues it encompassed. Explaining legislation in its proper context is never easy; in this article, any sort of sympathy or empathy produced by it was pendent on a succinct explanation of Proposition 8. The author was able to accomplish this task effectively by utilizing formatting that made it easy to codify the different elements of this legal mandate. This explanation increased the article’s efficacy because it illustrated the fact that initially, Californians voted to allow gay marriages. Proposition 8 was only passed to usurp this precedent. Therefore, simply by disseminating this background information, the author of the article is able to convey to the reader that this is a tenuous issue which has produced considerable emotional involvement on behalf of both partisans. Additionally, this explanation helps the reader to understand just what exactly is at stake with the passage of this proposition, and how it could create an enormous impact on those who had believed that they had already gained unalienable rights to marry in this state.


Another particularly effective aspect of this article is that it underscores the fact that the psychological trauma and abuse that Proposition 8 exacerbated was not limited to only members of the LGBTI community. In fact, the article notes in multiple places that this sort of negative treatment was even extended to those of traditionally heterosexual people, who merely emphasized with the gay community. This facet of the article is effective because it helps to underpin the sort of negative treatment that this proposition worsened to an audience of straight people. Therefore, those people who are heterosexual but who do not take issue with same sex marriages can truly underscore the pervasiveness of the negativity that was partially inspired by this piece of legislation. The author denotes that “Straight allies experience the impact of homophobia firsthand.” This statement, and the overarching point that the sort of bigotry that the gay community is exposed to is not just limited to that community but actually transcends to members of the general public as well, helps to denote the seriousness of the issue discussed in this document. It also suggests that there is a mob-like mentality of those who antagonize dissidents of Proposition 8, which could have dangerous repercussions for anyone — regardless of sexual orientation.


Perhaps one of the most cogent points of this article revolves around the impact of Proposition 8 on children. Traditionally, children are regarded as innocent. This sentiment certainly applies to any sort of political situation in which children are usually viewed as victims of political circumstances, and rarely as the causes of them. The author successfully exploits this perception and utilizes it for the purpose this article in two ways. Firstly, that article illustrates how some innocent children are negatively affected by this piece of legislature. These children are innocent in the sense that not only are they too young to have developed a sexual proclivity of their own, but the majority of them may likely turn out to be heterosexual. Thus, there are elements of the preceding point in which Proposition 8 has created hardships for those who are not even part of the LGBTI community that found in this point about the negativity this proposition has fostered for innocent children. Additionally, these children are prone to witness negative behavior on the part of heterosexuals regarding this proposition simply because they are children being raised in same-sex households. Again, these children did nothing to create this situation, they are innocent of whatever tendencies their ‘parents’ may have that is deemed socially and politically deviant by those that embrace Proposition 8. Nonetheless, they witness and have to deal with the sort of antagonism that their parents do regarding this issue. Secondly, the article details the fact that there are some children who do identify as part of the LGBTI community themselves exhibit homosexual persuasions. The article alludes to the fact that these children have increase greater amounts of bullying after Proposition 8. Again, merely by discussing the impact of this proposition on children, who are typically regarded as innocent because they are young, the author is able to burgeon the viewpoint that this piece of legislation is inherently noxious.


Still, the primary way this article demonstrates efficacy in proving that Proposition 8 is harmful is by personalizing the negative experience that homosexuals have experienced in the wake of the passage of this mandate. One of the most effective ways the author does this is by discussing various aspects of their lives in such a way that one can empathize with them. Conventionally, one thinks of the LGBTI community in terms of their sexuality, particularly in this article which is based on the question of whether community members can legally intermarry with one another in California. However, this article elucidates other aspects of this community which do not pertain to its sexuality. A compelling way that the author does this is by discussing some of the workplace ramifications these people have had to endure due to Proposition 8. For instance, the author writes that “Not only did LGBTI people lose their right to marry, but they were verbally assaulted, had property vandalized and destroyed, received death threats, and several people reported being terminated from their jobs because they were gay and/or due to their opposition to Prop 8.” This quotation indicates that the aforementioned group of people actually had to forfeit their jobs due to some of the fallout of this proposition. This statement helps to personalize the consequences that gays endured because of this proposition because it shows that those repercussions transcend one’s sexual penchant. Some people lost their ability to learn money, a situation which very well may have threatened their entire livelihoods — just because they did not support this legislation. Also, it is worth noting that the author implies that some people lost their jobs who were not even gay themselves, but who merely opposed Proposition 8. Revealing these facts helps to demonstrate how real the consequences of this legislation were for multiple Californians. As such, discussing the workplace ramifications of this issue makes it much less abstract and more personal, and perhaps even intimate. Such intimacy is effective for galvanizing feelings and compelling readers to adopt the author’s stance on this issue.


Finally, the most effective means the author deploys to sway readers is utilizing quotations. The effect of this method is that it helps to personalize some of the experiences of members of the LGBTI community. It is one thing for readers to understand that these people have been harassed, intimidated, and wantonly disparaged after Proposition 8 was passed. However, the realities of this treatment become all the more realistic when these people describe the specifics of their experiences. The anonymous quotation in which one person described the vulgar verbal abuse he took, which included people threatening to follow him to his residence and to slay him there, help to underscore the stark nature of the sort of hatred people endured in the wake of the passage of this proposition. Including that quotation is much more effective than simply stating that this particular person was threatened, because it illustrates the exact nature of those threats and makes them more dangerous to the reader. The reader that describes the destruction of his or her car and the home vandalism containing anti-gay slurs truly describes to the reader the exact nature of some of the inhumane treatment people have suffered through because of the change in laws. With these quotes, the author is actually showing the reader, and not merely telling the reader, exactly how these people’s lives were affected by this mandate. Showing is always more effective than telling, and helps to personalize these experiences for what might be non-partisan readers.


In summary, the majority of the effectiveness of this article is based on the way that it personalizes the vicissitudes that people were subjected to after Proposition 8 was passed. The author uses numerous means to make these facts graphic and realistic. The graphic nature of some of the quotes and the description of ramifications for innocent children, as well as descriptions of workplace consequences, help achieve this goal.

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